Regulatory & Legislative

As the voice of the flexible packaging industry, FPA works with regulators at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other U.S. regulatory agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission and Food and Drug Administration to share industry positions and minimize regulatory burden on the flexible packaging industry.

Environmental, Health and Safety Regulations

The FPA Environmental, Health and Safety Program is focused on compliance with air, water, waste and safety regulations. The FPA Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) Committee meetings and the Environmental Issues Index form the basis for developing action plans to deal with regulatory issues that have potential to negatively impact the industry.  Following is a list of issues the committee is currently involved in:

Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Reform
Formally known as the Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, HR 2576 was signed into law by President Obama on June 22, 2016. It authorizes EPA to regulate existing chemicals in commerce and reduces the agency’s burden to demonstrate that a chemical should be regulated because of its risk to the public and/or the environment. FPA successfully worked with an industry coalition to advocate for the exemption of mixtures and articles in the rule so that the EPA can require Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) for chemicals in “articles” only if the Agency makes an affirmative finding of reasonable potential for exposure to a chemical through an article. The industry challenge is that EPA’s focus on use of chemicals in articles is likely to continue. FPA will continue to diligently monitor developments as EPA begins to implement the law.

Impact of EPA Removing Emergency Defense from Title V Permits
Because of a series of recent decisions by the U. S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, EPA is requiring states to remove the “affirmative defense protections” against civil penalties from federal/state Title V Operating permit program during startup, shutdown and malfunction of equipment. The potential impact of this action on emission limitations during startup, shutdown and malfunction (SSM) of oxidizers in flexible packaging operations is under review.  Depending on the committee’s findings FPA may initiate a project to develop a work practices plan for approval by EPA.

Printing and Other Web Coating MACT (POWC) Residual Risk
Under Section 112(f) of the Clean Air Act, the EPA is required to conduct risk and technology review (RTR) after 8 years of application of maximum achievable control technology (MACT) to determine if additional controls are required to provide an ample margin of safety to protect public health and the environment. The POWC MACT, with which many FPA members have to comply with, is currently undergoing EPA RTR review for Residual Risk determination. FPA continues to proactively work with EPA to ensure that an updated emissions database is used in the analysis. Similar interaction by FPA proved critical to the agency’s finding that no additional controls were necessary after its review of the Printing & Publishing MACT in 2012.

Solid and Hazardous Waste Regulatory Costs to FPA Members
EPA proposed and expects to finalize far reaching revisions to the hazardous waste generator management rules (RCRA Waste). Most FPA members are small quantity generators of RCRA regulated wastes, which are transported for offsite treatment except for solvents that can be recycled for cleaning presses. In December 2015, FPA submitted extensive comments on the proposed rule, particularly calling into question the reasonableness of requiring all small generators to retest every waste stream for possible coverage by the hazardous waste laws, and to do this every three to five years. The generation of even small amounts of “hazardous waste” and “solid waste” can result in significant cost when regulatory reporting and recordkeeping are factored into disposal and transport costs.  FPA successfully supported EPA’s solvent contaminated wipes rule to treat shop towels as normal landfill waste. Additionally, FPA supported EPA revisions to the 2008 Definition of Solid Waste (DSW), which if upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, will enable the used solvent that currently is treated as hazardous waste to be reused by plants for cleaning solvents and other purposes. This would be a significant win for FPA members resulting in enormous savings in disposal costs. FPA has had several meetings with EPA staff and submitted comments on each iteration of the DSW and “Industrial Wipes Rule” with positive outcomes for FPA members so far. The effort will continue as necessary.

OSHA’s Process Safety Management (PSM) Rulemaking
FPA has met several times with OSHA staff to discuss their views on what is likely to be included in the revisions to PSM Rule.  The amendments are required by President’s Executive Order 13650, “Improving Chemical Safety and Security.” Because of FPA’s interaction with OSHA on this issue and its relationship with the Small Business Administration (SBA Advocacy Group), one FPA member was invited to participate as a Small Employer Representative on OSHA’s Small Business Advocacy Review Panel. It allowed FPA to air its concerns that if the rule is adopted as “proposed” it would trigger PSM applicability (due to atmospheric storage tanks including ink rooms) to many small entities that are currently not regulated. The cost of developing management plans and third part audits would be very burdensome and FPA believes that OSHA has not taken this cost into consideration in their economic impact analysis.  Since a significant number of FPA members have atmospheric storage tanks and ink rooms, FPA will remain engaged with OSHA and submit written comments advocating exemption of the affected process equipment from the rule.

Global Occupational Health & Safety Management System (ISO 45001)
This Standard, aimed as a voluntary management system, is being developed by ISO’s Project Committee 283 (PC 283) which has a total of 78 countries participating including the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (U.S. TAG) composed of industry, OSHA, labor unions and NGOs. Since FPA is represented on U.S. TAG, it allows us to participate in U.S. TAG meetings and submit comments on drafted ISO 45001 documents. The standard as currently proposed is very prescriptive. The industry is working hard to make appropriate changes with limited success. The effort will continue.

OSHA adds Electronic Reporting to Injury & Illness Recordkeeping Regulations
Effective August 10, 2016 OSHA issued a final regulation that will require many employers to submit their Injury & Illness records electronically. Importantly, OSHA will then post the data from these submissions on its website available to public. The impact of this rule on affected employers is significant in that their customers, competitors, and the general public will have access to injury-Illness data which potential investors and customers may use to evaluate risk and liability without realizing that mere recording of an injury has no bearing on whether the employer has a strong safety program or record. Anticipating that employers may discourage Illness & Injury reporting because of the new posting provision, OSHA has amended the recordkeeping regulation with certain anti-retaliation provisions. The post-accident drug testing and incentive programs are not banned but have been limited in scope. FPA worked with the Coalition for Workplace Safety, submitted extensive comments on the proposal. However, OSHA persisted based on an unproven belief that employers are systematically under-recording and suppressing employees from reporting injuries. The Coalition has yet to decide on next steps.



Established as a federal agency in 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency develops and enforces environmental regulations. The flexible packaging industry operations are required to comply with many of these regulations.

Occupational Safety & Health

OSHA establishes mandatory job safety and health standards including guidance to reduce workplace hazards to protect American Workers. There website is: www.osha.gov

FPA Safety Conference Presentations: Presentations from the annual FPA Safety Conference

Safety Resources: FPA provides members with recently approved or revised standards and other pertinent alerts from OSHA. Click here or visit www.osha.gov

Sustainability Marketing Claims – FTC Green Guides

The Federal Trade Commission issued revised “Green Guides” that are designed to help marketers ensure that the claims they make about the environmental attributes of their products are truthful and non-deceptive.

Food Safety

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety and security of food supply, medical devices and drugs.

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) 

Senate Leaders Release Manager’s Amendment to The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, Hogan Lovells Memo

FS-S 510-Managers Amendment, August 12, 2010

House Passes Comprehensive Food Safety Legislation, July 31, 2009

Food Contact Substances 

FPA Monitors Issue of Aromatic Amines 

Bioterrorism Preparedness & Response Act 2002 

Food Safety Memoranda/Articles 

Food Safety Presentations 

Government Relations


185 Admiral Cochrane Drive, Suite 105, Annapolis MD 21401

P: 410.694.0800 E: fpa@flexpack.org

©2019 Flexible Packaging Association. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Press Room | Contact Us